How to translate your project using a combination of machine and professional translations

This guide will walk you through the process of translating your project using a combination of machine translations and professional translations.

What you'll learn

  • How to determine what content should be translated professionally vs. by machine
  • How to segment your content for professional translation
  • How to define Glossary terms, Context, and Style Guides
  • How to add human translations to your phrases


How to determine what content to translate professionally

Machine translations can save time and money, however there is a trade-off in quality. That’s why it is common to start a project with machine translations followed by professional post-editing by a translator who speaks the native language and has a cultural understanding of the targeted country or region.

There are other circumstances where machine translations may be sufficient depending on your project requirements.
While every company’s needs are unique, here are some general guidelines.

Example content that should be translated by humans:

  • Marketing material
  • Technical, legal, or medical content

Example content that could be left to machine translation:

  • Your Statuspage content
  • Guest posts in your blog
  • User-generated content

Segmenting your content for professional translation

Once you have determined which content requires professional translation, the next step is to segment and prepare your content.

Localize offers a few key features that allow you to identify what phrases in your project will be translated by humans.

  1. Pages Filter: Select content using the Pages filter.
    a. The Pages filter segments your content based on where it was found in your website.
    b. If you prefer to work on translations one page or section at-a-time, select the page(s)/subfolder(s) using this filter, then use Labels to mark those phrases.

  2. Labels: Mark specific content using Labels.
    a. Label actions: You can use the “Exclude from translation orders” label action to exclude certain phrases from being translated by humans.
    b. Custom Labels: You could also create a custom label using a translator’s name or “needs-translation” for example, and apply that label to the phrases that need to be translated.

  3. Created date: Select content using the Created filter.
    a. After the initial translation of your content, you will want to periodically check for new phrases that are found by Localize.
    b. You can simplify this process by using the Created filter and setting the filter to the appropriate time span (e.g. 7 days, 30 days).

How to define Glossary terms, Context, and Style Guides

Define Glossary terms for consistent translations

You likely have key terminology that you want to have translated consistently across your project.

  • You can enter these words/phrases to your project’s Glossary.
  • Glossary terms are shown to the translator when they are translating that phrase.

Communicate the meaning of your phrases using Phrase Context

You can add specific context to each published phrase to help translators better understand its meaning.

  • The context can be a text description of the context and/or a screenshot or other graphic.

Create your Style Guide

A Style Guide provides guidelines for your translators to use when translating your content for a new audience. These guidelines examine areas like the tone of the translation, types of words to use, punctuations, language style, purpose, brand voice, and so on.

  • Your Style Guide will be available to your translators, providing overall context to the translators.
  • The Style Guide is also a good place to provide a temporary login to your website if it’s behind a login gateway.

How to add human translations to your phrases

Now that you have chosen what content you want to professionally translate, you’ve created a way to segment and identify that content, and your content is prepared and ready to translate, you can use one or more of the following methods to get human translations.

Order translations using Localize's network of professional translators

Use this guide which will walk you through the process of translating your content using Localize's network of professional translators.

Order translations via a 3rd-party vendor

If you have a preferred human translation vendor, you can use our import/export tools to send/receive files to/from your vendor.

  1. Export your source language phrases using a file format of your choice
  2. Send the files to your translation vendor
  3. Your vendor adds translations directly in the files provided, replacing any machine translations
  4. Import the files returned from your translation vendor
  5. The translations will be imported into your Published bin and will be visible to your users!

NOTE: You could also invite your vendor to your team as described below.

Invite your translators to translate using the Localize dashboard

Invite your translators

You can invite translators to your team so that they may use the tools available in the Localize dashboard to add human translations.

  1. Invite your translators using these instructions
  2. Give them the proper permissions to translate in the appropriate language(s)
  3. Inform them how to find the content to translate

Translating using the Localize dashboard

Now that your translators have been invited, they can use the following tools to translate your content.

  • In-Context Editor: The In-Context Editor will provide your translators with visual context when adding and editing translations, so they can see where translations appear on your website.

  • Manage Phrases Page: On the Manage Phrases page, your translators can simply click on a phrase to add or edit the translation.

  • Advanced Translation Memory: When using our Advanced Translation Memory feature, similar phrases and their translations will be listed below the translation, allowing the translator to select parts of previous translations to use in the current phrase's translation.

    • This will help to keep your translations consistent across phrases.
    • It will also save you time and money.